Simon Willison’s Weblog

6 items tagged “archiving”


Digitizing 55,000 pages of civic meetings (via) Philip James has been building public, searchable archives of city council meetings for various cities—Oakland and Alamedia so far—using my s3-ocr script to run Textract OCR against the PDFs of the minutes, and deploying them to Fly using Datasette. This is a really cool project, and very much the kind of thing I’ve been hoping to support with the tools I’ve been building. # 22nd August 2022, 4:26 pm

You should take more screenshots (via) Alex Chan suggests saving screenshots of your work, since they may well last a lot longer than the projects themselves. I try to do that these days but I have SO many projects from the past that I didn’t capture in this way, and that I really regret not keeping a better visual record of. # 24th July 2022, 9:03 pm

WarcDB (via) Florents Tselai built this tool for loading web crawl data stored in WARC (Web ARChive) format into a SQLite database for smaller-scale analysis with SQL, on top of my sqlite-utils Python library. # 19th June 2022, 6:08 pm


Twitter conversation about long-term pre-paid archival storage. I kicked off a conversation on Twitter yesterday about long-time archival storage of web content: “Anyone know of a web hosting provider where I can pay a lump sum of money to host a file at a reliable URL essentially forever? Is this even remotely feasible?”. The thread is really interesting—this is definitely an unsolved problem, and it’s clear that the challenge is more organizational (how do you create an entity that can keep this kind of promise—does it need to be some kind of foundation or trust?) than technical. # 5th November 2018, 6:50 pm


UK Web Archive: WW2 People’s War. Good news: the British Library has already archived the BBC’s WW2 People’s War site (on 22nd May 2006). # 8th February 2011, 12:58 am


When APIs go dark, how do you do a data backup? (Answer: you often can’t.) With public, microformatted content, there will likely be a public archive that can be used to reconstitute at least portions of the service. With dynamic APIs and proprietary data formats, all bets are off.

Chris Messina # 9th February 2009, 8:46 pm